“We [referring to the Tuskegee Airmen] proved we were not dummies,” he pointed out in a 2009 interview. “It was just the color of our skin that was different. We were capable of flying planes and doing things others do.”
Colonel Paul Green grew up an orphan and spent some of his younger years at the Ohio Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Orphans Home. According to him in an interview he did way back in 1999, it was here while flying kits and seeing planes from a nearby air base zoom past that his dream of becoming a pilot was born.
He also credited the institution for instilling in him the discipline that became very handy when drafted into the Army during the Second World War and went to training.
Green was drafted into the Army Quartermaster Corps in February 1943, and was stationed a short time in Indio, California. He completed Flying Training School at Tuskegee Institute in Alabama and joined the 99th Fighter Squadron, flying combat in Italy and was able to fly twenty-five combat missions during the Second World War with the 99th Fighter Squadron. Most of these missions were escorting bombers to and from their intended targets.
During his military career Colonel Green was stationed at Lockbourne AFB (later Rickenbacker Air Force Base), Ohio; Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi; and Alaska during which time he was at the geographic North Pole on an Ice Island, T-3, for approximately 60 days. He was also stationed at Griffiss Air Force Base, Rome, New York; McGuire Air Force Base, New Jersey; Corvallis Air Station, Oregon with an Air Defense Sector Headquarters; Eglin Air Force Base with the Tactical Air Warfare Center; Fuchu Air Station, Japan; the Philippines; and Rhein Main Air Base, Germany. In addition to duties as a pilot, he served as a Squadron and Wing Electronics Officer, a Mission Commander and Flight Operations Officer in Vietnam: Commander of a C-130 Squadron; Commander of an Organizational Maintenance Squadron; Aircraft Maintenance Control Officer; a Wing Chief of Maintenance; and a Wing Deputy Commander for Logistics. Colonel Green was a Command Pilot with over 5,000 flying hours. He flew numerous training aircraft plus, the P-40, P-47, P-51, C-47, C-54, B-29, C-130, B-25 and the C-141.
He resided in Highland, a San Bernardino community east of Los Angeles, where he was a very active member of the community. Colonel Green was a Past President of the Downtown Rotary Club; an advisor for Rotary Life Scholars; a member of Tuskegee Airmen Incorporated; a life member of the Daedalians; a life member of the Air Force Association; a Corporate Member of the Arrowhead. Health Care System; a member of the Board of Directors of the National Orange Show; and a member of the Board of the San Bernardino Scholarship Association. He also served as a member of the board of directors for many organizations including Arrowhead United Way; the YMCA; Vice President for Membership, San Bernardino Tournament of Roses Association; Chairman, Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Selection Committee; and a member of the Special Events Corporation for the 1988 and 1989 Miss Teen USA Pageant. He also was past President of the Board of Directors and was a member of the Board of Governors of the National Orange Show Events Center and past president of the National Orange Show. He was also the Grand Marshal for the city of Highland, California 2006 Fourth of July Parade. 2007 Unforgettable citizen of the Year for the Inland Empire in California. He was awarded a bronze replica of the Tuskegee Airmen Congressional Medal of Honor on March 29, 2007. In 2007 Colonel Green was honored as the 2007 Highland Senior Citizen of the Year.
In February 2006 Colonel Green received an Honorary Doctorate in Public Service from Tuskegee University, Alabama.
Green is remembered as a patriotic man who loved America and was an example of what the country offers to its citizens.
The CAF Red Tail Squadron is a volunteer-driven organization dedicated to educating audiences across the country about the history and legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen, America’s first black military pilots and their support personnel.